Nearly everybody has watched the educational program Sesame Street, and it’s pretty much in everybody’s childhood for some length of time. It was a product of Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Foundation vice president Lloyd Morrisett. Through many meetings with child educators and psychologists of the 70s, they had a solid idea on what to construct. Many talents worked behind the scenes–namely puppeteers Jim Henson, Caroll Spinney, and Frank Oz (to name a few) and important to this series success is writer/director Jon Stone. In front of the camera, the list is enormous.
Marilyn Agrelo‘s excellent documentary, Street Gang, is a fascinating look from this series humble beginnings to where it is now. The breadth of information compressed to 107 minutes is very comprehensive. If there’s anything missed, it’s only because it didn’t fit into the narrative about what made this show special to children and adults alike.
No show is without some controversy; maybe the play on a Beatles song was too much. At least it’s humorously addressed.
By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek) When it comes to television pop culture Seasame Street parodies HBO’s Game of Thrones in a way that the adults can snigger at the humor and their young ones will be none the wiser to the very adult jokes contained within.
In the Sesame Street universe, the new king of Jesteros (a replacement for the land of Westeros) is decided by a game of chairs or as the Muppet that represents Ned Stark would say “game of chez.”
In the parody we get to see four Throne Muppet representations vying for the title of King of all Jesteros. With the music played by lovable Grover (now named Bluejoy), comedy will ensue.
And the comedy Sesame Street explores in this sketch is darker than anything that has been prevciously produced. When Joffrey loses the game of chairs, the response from Grover of “…it looks like you choked Joffrey” will make parents glad their young ones won’t get the choke joke. But even with the dark jokes (and there are a few), I still find some of the best humor is in the more innocent nods to the Game of Thrones universe. An example of this is when Grover Bluejoy is late to the event of musical chairs, there is an allusion to the North Wall when Grover says “Sorry I’m late but it was really hard getting over that wall out there.”
Since Sesame Workshop is exploring new territory with this sketch, how long will it be before they parody AMC’s The Walking Dead.
I Am Big Bird is one of those rare biographies that tells a heartwarming tale about not just one of pop culture’s beloved icons. Puppeteer Caroll Spinney is now in his 80’s and the life he gave to Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch shows that both he and the characters he helped create have resiliency — even when new characters are introduced in a television program that’s still ongoing.
After having a difficult childhood with his own parents, namely his father, and finding a place to belong, there’s happiness in his soul. Back in the days, his life-long admiration of puppeteering and playing with “dolls” was misunderstood. In what he developed for himself (including his skill with a pen and brush) is sweetly examined and audiences can not help but shed at least one tear afterwards.
Miss Piggy will be taking her rightful place in the Smithsonian Institution’s Jim Henson Muppets collection, alongside her sweetheart Kermit the Frog.
Piggy will be among more than 20 puppets and props being donated by Cheryl Henson, Jim Henson’s daughter. Among the Muppets finding permanent homes at the Smithsonian will be Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show and Boober Fraggle and Uncle Traveling Matt from Fraggle Rock. Continue reading “Miss Piggy to Join Smithsonian Exhibit”